Why You Should Get Your Brows Waxed This May

Do you ever feel guilty for your beauty buys and splurges? Well, I have some fab news for you! This month, Benefit Cosmetics is donating EVERY SINGLE PESO they earn from their brow services to Mano Amiga Academy.

Mano Amiga Academy is a school that aims to provide a good education to children from low-income families.

Mano Amiga Academy is a school that aims to provide a good education to children from low-income families. Photo: instagram.com/manoamigaacademy

What I found interesting about Mano Amiga was that the organization also aims to help their student’s mothers find stable jobs, so that they can perform better at school. It makes sense, right? The more secure the students feel at home, the better they can perform at school.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the nearest Benefit Brow Bar to shape your arches!

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the nearest Benefit Brow Bar! Not only will you get the arch support you need, but you’ll also be helping the Mano Amiga kids get through school.

Of course, I wanted to join in on all the “giving back” fun by doing a little giveaway for you…Jump to the next page to check out the Benefit loot I’m raffling off to one lucky reader!  Continue reading

Here’s What Happened When I Used A Korean Face Mask For 7 Days

If I had to choose between skincare and makeup, I’d definitely choose skincare. But no matter how diligent I was with my cleanse-tone-moisturize routine, it wasn’t enough. After traveling to colder climates every few months, my skin hit its limit.

Here's what my skin looks like before the challenge. Dry, red in some areas, and tight!

Here’s what my skin looks like before the challenge. Dry, red in some areas, and tight!

When I got back from Japan last March, my skin was at its worst. It was dry, flakey, and rough—and I didn’t know how to deal. No matter how much I moisturized or exfoliated, nothing was working. So when Watsons asked me to do a 7-Day Korean Face Mask Challenge, I was in because I definitely needed to up my hydration game.

Watsons sent over a bunch of masks and I tried the 23 Years Old Cocoon Willow Silky Mask.

Watsons sent over a bunch of masks and I tried the 23 Years Old Cocoon Willow Silky Mask.

Can you see the little gadget beside the mask? That’s the MiLi Pure device. It hooks up to your iPhone via bluetooth and can check your skin’s moisture level. This way, we can check if the mask I’ll be using for 7 days really works. (Yes, I’m really that O.C. when it comes to skincare.)

This is the first time I'm trying a face mask that covers my lips!

This is the first time I’m trying a face mask that covers my lips! Btw, you guys should follow me on IG via @beautyandsparkl for more behind-the-scenes beauty action!

The mask felt weird and it felt a bit uncomfortable since my lips were covered for about 20 minutes, but despite that, it was very high in quality and very refreshing. It was thicker in texture and soaked in moisture-rich serum. I liked that it was especially made for toning dry, dehydrated skin (so it’s exactly what I needed) and that it didn’t make me breakout the entire week (huge win).

Here are the moisture results courtesy of my gadget from MiLi! The left photo is the moisture level of my face on the first day and the right photo is the moisture level of my face on the last day.

Here are the moisture results courtesy of my gadget from MiLi! The left photo is the moisture level of my face without using the mask and the right photo is the moisture level of my face immediately after.

So in case you’re wondering if Korean face masks really work, here’s your evidence! On average, skin’s moisture level would jump by almost 5 to 7% immediately after using the mask. I really enjoyed using a mask every night for a week since it saved me a lot of time and effort (in my head at least). I just had to slap on the mask—no need to tone or put a separate eye cream. I would just wait 20 minutes, massage it into my skin after, and tissue-off any excess serum on my skin. It became a ritual that I really looked forward to!

And here's a photo of what my skin looked like after the 7-Day Watsons Korean Face Mask Challenge. What do you think?

And here’s a photo of what my skin looked like after the 7-Day Watsons Korean Face Mask Challenge. What do you think?

I still need to work on getting the glow back at this point, but I was super happy that my skin was on its way to recovery. The redness was practically gone, it was feeling a lot smoother, and I could feel the elasticity begin to return. Yay!

But if you truly want to appreciate the before and after shots, take a look at these photos… Continue reading

What Are You Wearing To The Beach?

Choosing swimsuits has always been a challenge for me. It’s not just about the fit—it also has to make me feel confident and stylish at the same time.

I got to try designing swimsuits at the @CesaPh event. FYI: For me, high-waist bottoms are always the way to go!

I got to try designing swimsuits at the @CesaPh event. FYI: For me, high-waist bottoms are always the way to go!

But because I’ve been wearing this style for years, I thought I’d switch it up with a cute bikini. Here’s one of my faves from the latest Cesa’s latest summer collection:

Cute, right? It's an off-shoulder bikini, so it won't leave me feeling totally nekkid at the beach.

Cute, right? It’s an off-shoulder bikini, so it won’t leave me feeling totally nekkid at the beach.

Let’s face it, though. I’m a beauty girl, so aside from prepping my outfit, I also prep my skin for the beach. How? By doing a full body scrub in the shower! About 2-3 weeks before the getaway, I scrub at least once or twice a week to keep my skin soft. Not only does this get rid of rough spots and flakes, but it also ensures that I score a more even tan!

Cesa also has summer-friendly sugar scrubs and soap on a rope! My fave is the Coffee Biscuit since the scent wakes me up and it has actual coffee granules (Tyra Banks says this can help reduce cellulite!).

Cesa also has summer-friendly sugar scrubs and soap on a rope! My fave is the Coffee Biscuit Scrub since the scent wakes me up and it has actual coffee granules (Tyra Banks says this can help reduce cellulite!).

How do you prep for beach trips? And which swimsuit styles are you currently digging? Leave a comment and let me know!

Shopping Directory
Cesa Click here to visit their website or follow them on Instagram via @cesaph.

A Hair Cut Before Chinese New Year Can Bring Good Luck!

A friend of my mentioned this little superstition to me, so I thought it would be a good time to post about my mini makeover with celebrity hairstylist, Jing Monis.

The obligatory before shot!

The obligatory before shot!

At this point, it had been about 7 months since my last hair cut and over a year since my last hair color. OMG, I was ready (but nervous!) for the change.

The regrowth (and my white hair!) is no joke, guys.

The regrowth (and my white hair!) is no joke, guys. Look how black my hair really is!

I usually have a peg for Jing to follow, but this time around, I just let him do his thing. I just told him that I wanted a cut that fell above my shoulders, color that can help camouflage my greys, and highlights that’ll add more depth to my strands.

Mixing, mixing! Let the coloring process begin!

Mixing, mixing! Let the coloring process begin!

Since I don’t like having my hair color retouched too often, Jing gave me a chestnut brown base so the re-growth won’t be too obvious and opted to use a tone down-slash-balayage technique for my highlights.

The waiting game! The whole cut-and-color process took about 4 hours.

The waiting game! The whole cut-and-color process took about 4 hours (I also had a treatment to help reverse some of the chemical damage).

After they were rinsed my hair, I noticed that my highlights were really light. I asked why and they said it was because they used the toning down process to lighten my hair color. Hmm…I think for next time, I will opt the usual foil and balayage painting technique though. I feel like that technique blends more naturally with my strands, but if you’re going for a more blonde effect, then the toning down process will probably be better for you.  Continue reading

Sparkle Bites: What I Learned From My BioBalance Visit With Hindy Weber

A few months ago, I attended (and co-hosted) an event for BioBalance Institute. I first heard about this place through my friend, Alyanna. She said she was going to the institute to help manage her stress and figure out how to take the right supplements for her body.

Learning about health and wellness with Hindy Weber and BioBalance's Dr. Stan Chua.

Learning about health and wellness with Hindy Weber and BioBalance’s Dr. Stan Chua.

I’m normally iffy about places that sell supplements or “wellness” in general because we’re at an age where everyone’s coming up with their own formula. But I actually trust Hindy’s dedication to healthy living (I mean, she did move to the province to grow her own food!) and Alyanna’s recos (seriously, this girl can make me buy anything because it’s usually worth it).

Taking the InBody test! It determines things like the muscle-fat ratio in your body, how hydrated you are, and how much fat is surrounding your organs.

Taking the InBody test! It determines things like the muscle-fat ratio in your body, how hydrated you are, and how much fat is surrounding your organs.

During the intimate event, I got to chat with Hindy and learned so many things about how BioBalance can help you take care of your body. They have several tests you can take to analyze what’s really going on in your body (check them out here), but my favorite would have to be the Nutrient and Metabolic test. It analyzes the specific level of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in your body (view the detailed list of what they’ll test here—you’ll see why it’s worth it!).

Post-gabbing session with Hindy! Our background? BioBalance's wall of supplements!

Post-gabbing session with Hindy! Our background? BioBalance’s wall of supplements!

Before BioBalance, I was guilty of self-diagnosing my supplements. When I needed to sleep, I’d take melatonin. Dealing with hair fall? Then load up on Biotin. But guess what? Your body might actually have enough of these nutrients and you just don’t know it! Or maybe, your body just can’t absorb what you’re feeding it either. You can’t really know for sure, so if you feel like you’re doing everything you can health-wise and aren’t getting the results you want, then it may be time to take an actual test.  Continue reading

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